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Published on Apr 18, 2011
Toscani and Benetton say the international "We On Death Row" campaign was aimed at drawing attention to the controversy surrounding the use of capital punishment in the U.S., where support for the death penalty is nearly as universal as opposition to it is in Toscani's native Italy.
The campaign featured close-up portraits of convicted killers. The photos are stamped with the words "Sentenced to Death" or "We, on Death Row" along with the small green Benetton logo.
The campaign stirred up a storm of controversy: the state of Missouri sued Toscani and Benetton for misrepresenting hemselves while interviewing four death row inmates in that state. Protests from uneasy consumers and from the families of the inmates' victims prompted retailing giant Sears, Roebuck & Co., to unceremoniously drop the profitable Benetton line.